Man who went AWOL in marijuana case gets 8 years; faces new charges

Drug dealer sentenced

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (WZZM) - A man accused of fleeing town following a Feb. 2016 drug raid that netted Grand Rapids police $203,000 and a kilo of cocaine was sentenced to prison Thursday in two marijuana cases.

Christopher May-Shaw was facing a probable jail term for having marijuana during separate traffic stops in 2015, but the stakes became decidedly higher when he didn’t show up for sentencing.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber instead sentenced May-Shaw to between eight and 12 years in prison.

“I was to have sentenced you on March 24, 2016, but you didn’t show up,’’ the judge said. “Your failure to appear was an active declaration of your responsibility and guilt.’’

He was arrested in Brooklyn, New York and returned to Grand Rapids in August to face federal drug charges stemming from a Feb. 2016 raid at an apartment May-Shaw shared with his girlfriend.

The raid on Norman Drive north of 44th Street SE netted Grand Rapids police more than two pounds of cocaine along with heroin and marijuana. They also recovered $203,000 in cash.

“The fact of your leaving this scene and not being found until you’re arrested in New York is simply something that caught my attention,’’ Leiber said.

May-Shaw, 36, was arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids on five felony drug charges stemming from the raid on Norman Drive SE.

A superseding indictment accuses May-Shaw and his girlfriend of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin between the summer of 2014 and Feb. 18, 2016. The five-count indictment also accuses the pair of maintaining a drug-involved premises at the Norman Drive address.

If convicted of the conspiracy charge, May-Shaw faces a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison. The offense is punishable by up to life behind bars.

May-Shaw has a 2003 federal weapons conviction for a drug raid at an apartment complex in Gaines Township that netted three firearms and marijuana. He was sentenced to prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

May-Shaw has prior convictions for attempted resisting and opposing police, delivery/manufacture of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

The two marijuana cases that brought him to court on Thursday involve traffic stops.

The first one occurred in Jan. 2015 on Charlesgate Avenue at 26th Street SW in Wyoming. Wyoming police found a digital scale, marijuana and about $2,000 in cash, court records show.

The second traffic stop played out at Fuller Avenue and East Fulton Street in Grand Rapids in April, 2015.

He was charged with delivery/manufacture of marijuana in both cases. Although the charge is punishable by up to four years in prison, May-Shaw faced additional time because of his prior convictions.

Leiber sentenced him to between four and six years in prison in each case, with the sentences to run consecutive, meaning they will be served back-to-back rather than at the same time.

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